Immersion Program FAQ

2019 | 2020 IMMERSION DOCTOR CARE PROGRAM

This program combines individual coaching and a like-minded support group, enhancing personal and professional development.


Who is the ideal candidate?

Doctors at any stage of their career, who are keen to:

  • learn new skills
  • bring their humanity to work, sharing personal experiences of working in medicine
  • be curious about the impact of mindfulness, compassion and self awareness in the work they do, for self and for others.

This program is designed to develop and challenge doctors. It is NOT therapy or counselling. The immersion program will help build your skills to enable you to be an extraordinary, humanitarian doctor.

What is the Program Structure?

1. 6 x 1 hour of individual coaching with Sharee that is action oriented and future focused. You determine the content: your goals, your development.

2. 26 hours of retreat and workshop, building a support group of local doctors and learning new skills together.

You will have the opportunity to personally grow your self-awareness, resilience, mindfulness, empathy and compassion. We will practise and challenge these skills together in retreat, workshops and in coaching. You will be encouraged to read and practise on your own and will be asked to keep a journal as a means of reflection.

Teaching will call on the latest science, case studies, guided practices and small group conversations.

How will this help me in my job?

As you build the skills of mindfulness, compassion and awareness, you are likely to become less stressed, less overwhelmed and less distracted. As you increase your mindful presence, you will become more focused, engaged and make better decisions. This increases efficiency, productivity as well as making you more available to receive creative ideas and insights. You will also increase your capacity to connect with other people and respond in wiser ways to everyday events as well as significant challenges, upsets and difficult relationships.

You will have the opportunity to enhance your practice rather than “just surviving” despite the system. You will have the opportunity to build skills and feel supported so that you can deliver the best possible care to your patients and be well yourself.

What will I receive and be able to do once I complete the program?

You will develop your own goals for the program that you will continue to develop and review in your individual coaching with Sharee throughout the year.

You will spend time and effort reflecting and reviewing how mindfulness, empathy, compassion and self-awareness impacts on health – your own and that of your patients.

You will have the opportunity to challenge and test your experiences in a safe environment, learning from each other and the faculty.

You will be able to develop your practice with wholeheartedness and be an extraordinary doctor by your own design, not simply by default, in a big healthcare system. Be more than a survivor of medicine, bring your authentic self to work and let that sustain you.

Can compassion can be learnt? Why would I want to be more compassionate?

Compassion can be learnt and has significant benefits for patients’ health outcomes and for health care professionals’ health too. 
Stephen Trzeciak is an Intensive Care Doctor at Cooper University Health Care in the USA.  You can listen to his podcast, read his ideas or watch his Ted talk for a summary of some of the research showing that caregiver compassion has a strong evidence base, that the science of compassion is part of the art of medicine. 

Where is the Melbourne Program – retreats and workshops?

The three Melbourne retreats will be held in the Melbourne CBD with the venue details confirmed in January 2020 and forwarded to all registrants.  Accommodation and most food is included in the registration fee.
Participants will receive all relevant information via email – please make sure you have provided the most appropriate email address when you register for the program.

What is the investment?

You should allow 26 hours plus travel to the workshops and retreats for the program between February and early December. Sharee will visit you or work with you on Skype/Zoom for your coaching sessions.

Dates and details:

The Melbourne program group work is provided as three overnight retreats commencing at 2pm on Friday and finishing at 3pm on Saturday.

The dates for 2020 will be announced in September 2019 and are likely March, July and November.

2019 Melbourne Retreat
The Melbourne program group work is provided as three overnight retreats commencing at 2pm on Friday and finishing at 3pm on Saturday.
10 and 11 May
30 and 31 August
6 and 7 December
Please allow time for reading, mindful practice and journal writing. This will be at your own discretion.
2019 Gippsland program group work is offered in four gatherings of the group:
22 and 23 February - overnight retreat in Metung, commence 2pm Friday - finish 3pm Saturday
3 May and 9 August - workshops 10am - 3pm in Sale
29 and 30 December - overnight retreat in Metung, commence 2pm Friday - finish 3pm Saturday
Registration for Immersion programs in Gippsland and Melbourne will open in September each year.
The programs will run beginning February - end early December.
Please join our mailing list to be the first to know the 2020 dates and that registration has opened.

Can I receive CPD points for this program?

Yes as self directed learning and in line with your personal learning plan.

Is the program tax deductible?

Please check with your accountant or financial advisers. In most circumstances that we are aware of, you can claim the program as professional development and the costs are therefore tax deductible.

Can my employer sponsor my participation in the program?

Yes, you can pay for yourself as described above or your employer can pay for your registration in the program. Often employers offer training like this as a means of supporting their staff and/ or as part of professional development and learning programs.

I’m interested in developing my leadership skills, will this program help?

Yes. Mindful leaders recognise the skills such as self-awareness, authenticity and compassion are essential – not just optional – for the success of individuals, organisations and entire industries.

The way we are working isn’t working for many people. There are unprecedented levels of stress, exhaustion and overwhelm across workplaces. This creates a work culture of people running on autopilot, unfocused and disengaged. Stress is costing Australian businesses over $17 billion a year (Medibank Private 2008) and absenteeism is estimated to cost $6.4 billion a year. Mindful leadership is a great way to bring out the best in people and create a workplace that is purposeful, innovative, successful and kind.

Is the Immersion Program evidence based?

This program draws upon decades of scientific research in the realms of psychology, medicine, and neuroscience, as well as well-regarded and accepted theories of emotional, relational, and collective intelligence. The principles of mindfulness and compassion have been scientifically examined at places like the University of Massachusetts Medical School, the University of Wisconsin’s Laboratory for Affective Neuroscience, and Stanford University’s School of Medicine.

The results of our 2018 pilot program will be shared on the website soon. We are very interested to measure and understand how the program affects doctor experience and skills. We will ask you to complete some pre and post inventories as part of the program.

I’m new to these ideas, will I still benefit?

Everyone can benefit from reflection and understanding themselves better. This program is a combination of individual and small group work so that everyone’s needs can be met. Sharee and Liz bring a depth and breadth of experience in leadership, medicine, psychology, teaching and mindfulness to the program. One of the most obvious benefits is learning to calm our minds and balance our nervous systems so that we can shift away from running on adrenaline to more sustainable modes of operating. Many doctors say that they like their work but would cope better with more support. This pilot is testing the combination of individual coaching and a small support network as an effective way of delivering support to enhance the experience of the doctor.  100% of the doctors currently in the pilot program say they are benefiting from the program and that they feel supported by the combination of coaching and group work.

What if my work culture doesn’t support this kind of practice?

We believe that mindfulness, compassion and greater self awareness helps shift an organisation from a short-term focus and driven mode to a longer-term, more compassionate way of operating. Most organisations that have transitioned towards this way of working have done so, one person, one team and one choice at a time. This program invites you to be the leader the world needs in your own life, in your organisation and for your patients. It asks you to get in touch with your capacity to make a difference in your own life and your organisation’s culture.

Twenty-five percent of the doctors in the 2018 pilot program were sponsored by their organisation. This is a way for the employer organisation to support the learning the doctor participant is engaging in during the program. The most powerful way to create change is when the individuals and the organisation are working toward the same change. You can decide to participate in the program for your own benefit or for the impact it might have in your organisation. Both are valid reasons.

Sometimes individuals lead organisations to change, “be the change you want to see in the world” (Ghandi).

More Questions?

We’d love to hear from you. If you have any more questions, feel free to email Sharee via the button below.